Astronaut and Director of Operations, Russia
Michael Lopez-Alegria, a NASA astronaut, served as a Director of Operations (DOR) in Russia during Phase 1. As a DOR, he was responsible for the coordination and implementation of Phase 1 mission operations activities between Russia and NASA, managing a vital support systems office in Star City.
In his Oral History, Lopez-Alegria commented on his support team and related team members in Russia during his assignment as DOR:
"We had about three office clerical translator people who were sort of both -- all three were bilingual and served sort of the clerical functions. We had four (van) drivers. All those people are Russians, by the way.
"In addition to that, we had anywhere from one to three people serving as, I guess I'd call it, a payload training/baseline data collection organizer who was responsible for scheduling the training for both the Americans and Russians on the Mir for the American payloads experiments, basically, most of which were biomedical experiments.
"And then we had a flight surgeon, always, at least one, whenever there was a crew member there. Finally, the crew themselves, which depended on-you know, people would show up, ideally 14 months before they flew, and then they'd spend some time as a back-up, training then sometime as a prime, and then they'd go and fly. So you would sort of see this overlapping scenario of people coming and then going, and then somebody else would come."
Lopez-Alegria became an astronaut in 1992 and flew on STS-73 as a mission specialist. Prior to his NASA career, he was a naval aviator in the United States Navy. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
Michael Lopez-Alegria Oral History (PDF)
NASA Biography: Michael Lopez-Alegria
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